Chelsea have confirmed that Everton midfielder Ross Barkley has finally completed his move to Stamford Bridge, signing a five-and-a-half-year deal worth £15m.
The 24-year-old England international, who has spent his entire career so far with the Toffees apart from two loan spells with Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds United, revealed his delight at the switch, having completed his medical earlier on Friday.
Barkley has not played for seven months after surgery in August, and is eager to get going with the Blues.
He told the Chelsea website: “I’m overwhelmed, I’m looking forward to it and I’m really excited to get started.
“To be given a fresh start at a new club like Chelsea, it’s unbelievable for me. I’m looking forward to continuing where I left off at the end of last season and hoping to improve and add more goals to my game.”
Since making his senior debut in 2011, Barkley has scored 21 times in 150 appearances, but the Liverpool-born star did not feature for Everton in 2017/18 largely due to a serious hamstring injury.
Nonetheless, manager Antonio Conte believes he can still have an impact if given time to make a full recovery. He told reporters, “We are talking about an English player, a young player, he is a good prospect for Chelsea.
“I think that the club decided for this investment. This is a good opportunity for the club to buy this player. For sure, it is a good prospect for Chelsea.
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“He is very young, he has a lot of space for improvement. He is very strong physically, has good technique. He is a good prospect but at the same time it will be very important to understand, if he signs for the club, that he has to recover from his injury.
“Don’t forget he had a bad injury, he had surgery, he has not played for seven months.”